Date Posted

Hartford, Conn -  A coalition of advocates and labor leaders issued the following joint statement in support of H.B. 5273, a bill that seeks to place limits on call center off-shoring in Connecticut. 

H.B. 5273 would stand up for thousands of working families in Connecticut and help ensure that taxpayer dollars do not reward companies that offshore call center and customer service jobs. The bill would establish new accountability and transparency around the offshoring process, protecting jobs in our state.

Dave Weidlich, CWA Local 1298 President

“We applaud the Labor committee for holding a hearing on the Connecticut Call Center Bill H.B. 5273. It is long past time Connecticut stopped rewarding companies that send call center jobs overseas with taxpayer dollars in the form of state contracts or tax breaks. The Trump tax plan incentivized sending good jobs overseas, so this legislation is more critical than ever. New York and New Jersey recently passed similar legislation into law and now it's on us to follow suit.”

Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“If a business moves jobs out of Connecticut, then they should no longer be eligible for tax breaks and public dollars. That’s just common sense. This legislation aims to prevent outsourcing of call center jobs but if it does happen, then Connecticut stops providing economic development money. This is a very practical and prudent piece of legislation that helps workers and protects taxpayers.”

Lindsay Farrel, Connecticut Working Families Organization: 

“The Call Center Bill H.B. 5273 will create some much-needed corporate accountability in Connecticut while protecting middle-class jobs in our state. For too long, we have allowed companies that hurt workers and our economy by outsourcing their work to continue being rewarded by taxpayers in the form of grants, tax breaks, and loans. This legislation will ensure Connecticut is no longer subsidizing corporations that hurt Connecticut's call center workers.”

Noreen Bennett, Call Center Worker; CWA Local 1298 Member

“The voices of Connecticut workers have been drowned out by those of the big corporations who have prioritized profits over people for far too long. I'm proud of our elected officials for holding a hearing on the Connecticut Call Center Bill H.B. 5273. As call center workers, we just want to be able to do our jobs and support our families in Connecticut. This legislation would be incredibly important for me and so many others, and would go a long way in strengthening our state."

Additional Background

· Connecticut legislation:

· H.B. 5273 establishes a requirement for call center operators to notify the Labor Commissioner at least one hundred days prior to relocation and creates a penalty in case of shorter notices.  

· Companies that have relocated a call center out of state will be ineligible for any direct or indirect state grants, state-guaranteed loans, state tax benefits or other state financial support for a period of five years from the date such list is published.

· Companies that relocate a call center will have to reimburse the state of any grants or loans received during the previous five years. 

· New state contracts that include call center customer assistance work should include a clause that establishes they will be located in-state.

· A federal call center bill, the “U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act,” would deter companies from shipping American jobs overseas and incentivize them to locate in the U.S. by:

· Creating a public list of companies that shipped their call center work overseas. Being on the list would make these actors ineligible for federal grants or guaranteed loans. 

· If a “bad actor” company on the public list relocates an offshore call center to the U.S. – bringing the jobs back -- they would be removed from the bad actor list. 

· The legislation also would require overseas call centers to disclose their locations to customers and would require them to comply with U.S. consumers’ requests to be transferred to a service agent physically located in the U.S.

· Read a July 2019 article in Roll Call: “Lawmakers push new bills to deter call centers from leaving the US